Perfect day, perfect soup for Crosslake WinterFest

Over 26 businesses participate in delicious annual SoupFest tradition

winterfest (102).JPG
Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023, is the day that will live on as the first time Griffin Umland ever ate a s'more. It was a sunny day at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Campground in Crosslake during WinterFest when his father, Eric, roasted a marshmallow and helped him make a mess.
Travis Grimler / Echo Journal

CROSSLAKE — There was no shortage of steaming, delectable soups at the Saturday, Feb. 4, WinterFest in Crosslake with 26 different varieties in the annual SoupFest competition.

On the corner of Highway 66 and County Road 3 alone there were three recipes from south of the border, including Andy's Bar and Grill's steak quesadilla, chicken tortilla at Frandsen Bank and chicken fajita at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Campground.

There were plenty of options, including the loaded potato soup at Zorbaz, pickle soup at the Northern Minnesota Railroad Heritage Association and squirrelly chowder at Squirrelly Mama, squirrel not included.

There were three different categories to win: judges choice, people's choice culinary and people's choice amateur. Winners were as follows:

winterfest (16).JPG
The pickle soup at the Northern Minnesota Railroad Heritage Association building provided a piquant flavor during the Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023, SoupFest in Crosslake.
Travis Grimler / Echo Journal


Judge's choice

  • First place: Maucieri's Italian Bistro
  • Second place: Crosslake Coffee
  • Third place: Manhattan's

People's choice culinary

  • First place: Andy's Bar and Grill
  • Second place: Maucieri's Italian Bistro
  • Third place: Crosslake-Fifty Lakes American Legion
winterfest (127).JPG
The squirrelly chowder at Squirrelly Mama in Crosslake was named for the business, not for the contents, at the Feb. 4, 2023, SoupFest in Crosslake.
Travis Grimler / Echo Journal

People's choice amateur

  • First place: Key Wellness
  • Second place: Whitefish at the Lakes Senior Living
  • Third place: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway
winterfest (50).JPG
Frandsen Bank's small entryway was almost constantly packed with people waiting to get their turn for chicken tortilla soup during the Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023, Crosslake SoupFest that's always part of WinterFest activities.
Travis Grimler / Echo Journal

The crowd flocking the city of Crosslake was so thorough that some businesses ran out of the goods only an hour into the competition. SoupFest is a main attraction, but WinterFest offers plenty of other activities as well.

Enjoy free access to klick! photo galleries on

Travis Grimler is a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper in Pequot Lakes/Pine River. He may be reached at 218-855-5853 or

Travis Grimler began work at the Echo Journal Jan. 2 of 2013 while the publication was still split in two as the Pine River Journal and Lake Country Echo. He is a full time reporter/photographer/videographer for the paper and operates primarily out of the northern stretch of the coverage area (Hackensack to Jenkins).
What To Read Next
Get Local


Must Reads